Stanford Researchers Introduce EVAPORATE: A Groundbreaking AI Method to Drastically Reduce Inference Costs of Language Models by 110x


  • Language models (LLMs) are powerful but expensive due to their large number of parameters and training on trillions of tokens.
  • Researchers from Stanford and Cornell propose EVAPORATE, a method to reduce LLM inference costs and improve results.
  • EVAPORATE identifies redundancies in documents to enhance efficiency.
  • Two strategies are used: direct value extraction and code synthesis.
  • Code synthesis is cheaper but less accurate than direct extraction.
  • EVAPORATE-CODE+ generates candidate functions and ensembles their extractions using weak supervision.
  • Evaluated on 16 document sets, EVAPORATE-CODE+ outperforms existing systems with a 110x reduction in tokens.
  • This approach automates table extraction from semi-structured documents, balancing quality and cost.
  • The research has significant implications for the data management community.

Main AI News:

The rise of language models has revolutionized numerous fields, offering unparalleled capabilities and endless applications. However, the exorbitant costs associated with training these models on trillions of tokens have posed a considerable challenge. In a remarkable development, a group of researchers from prestigious institutions such as Stanford and Cornell universities have put forth an ingenious solution to this predicament.

Their groundbreaking paper introduces an innovative method named EVAPORATE, which not only slashes inference costs but also enhances the quality of results. The essence of EVAPORATE lies in its ability to identify redundancies across multiple documents and leverage them to boost efficiency. By generating reusable functions that extract valuable information from each document, this approach has demonstrated superior cost-effectiveness and accuracy compared to conventional direct processing methods.

EVAPORATE employs two distinct strategies to implement its system. The first strategy entails instructing the language model to directly extract values from the documents. Conversely, the second strategy prompts the language model to synthesize code that performs the extraction process.

The researchers conducted a comprehensive evaluation of both approaches and unveiled a fascinating tradeoff between cost and quality. While code synthesis proved to be more economical, direct extraction using the language model yielded higher accuracy.

In their quest to further enhance result quality and maintain low costs, the research team proposed an extended implementation called EVAPORATE-CODE+. This advanced approach generates multiple candidate functions and employs weak supervision to amalgamate their extractions. EVAPORATE has undergone rigorous evaluation on 16 diverse sets of documents encompassing various formats, topics, and attribute types.

Remarkably, EVAPORATE-CODE+ outperforms existing state-of-the-art systems by employing a sublinear pass over the documents, resulting in a remarkable 110-fold reduction in the number of tokens requiring processing by the language model.

This paper presents a highly promising avenue for automating the extraction of tables from semi-structured documents utilizing the power of language models. By comprehensively analyzing the tradeoffs between direct extraction and code synthesis and proposing an extended implementation that achieves superior quality while upholding cost-efficiency, this work undoubtedly represents a significant stride for the data management community. The innovative approach adopted by these researchers is poised to make a profound impact on the realm of language models and data management at large.


The proposed method of EVAPORATE for reducing inference costs and improving the quality of results in language models has significant implications for the market. By addressing the challenge of expensive LLMs and offering a cost-effective solution, businesses in various sectors can benefit from leveraging the power of language models without incurring exorbitant expenses.

The ability to automate the extraction of valuable information from semi-structured documents using EVAPORATE enables organizations to enhance their data management practices and make more informed decisions. This advancement opens up opportunities for increased efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings, making it a promising development for the market.